Even with the mega of all shopopolises of @mazon working for me, I still have to think of what to buy. You know how it is. Or maybe you don't. I won't make that assumption. That's just how it is for me.
Have you noticed how many facets of Christmas there are? Not the meaning of Christmas as it stands as Jesus' birthday - but the other stuff that strives to distract us.
I am not talking about the shopping. I'm not talking about the parties. I'm not talking about the music - although that COULD be a topic entirely. I'm really talking about Christmas religious politics.
Last year, a friend of mine mentioned in an e-mail that she was getting multiple e-mails that encouraged her to 'keep Christ in Christmas'. She considered it ironic because she considered herself a non-practicing pagan. I'm paraphrasing there but the point is made.
I thought then, as I think now - "HOW?? HOW is that sort of 'thing' a witness? Of ANY kind besides that we can out religious each other?"
ALL year- Yes, you read that correctly, I've mulled that over. I've mulled it over as I thought about the phrase "Jesus is the reason for the season" (actually - Jesus is the reason for Christmas not the season. There's this whole equinox thing that happens...) and I've considered all the noise about stores wishing shoppers happy holidays instead of "Merry Christmas".
WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!
What does that "NOISE" tell people?!?!?! Because, really that's all it is. Noise.
I am coming at this whole thing with the desire for the TRUTH and not RELIGIOUS truth but I want REAL truth. I scorn religion. I have been set free and I do NOT want to go back ... and every time someone on facebook says "Keep Christ in Christmas" I get a mild headache.
Are they scorning commercialism? It's not a new thing. Just watch Charlie Brown's Christmas.
Are they feeling like their belief system is being scorned? Are they afraid that should people wish "Happy Holidays' just one more time it'll be like a spell cast to remove Jesus from Christmas?
I seriously am frustrated. It is this type of religious noise that makes people stand back and look. and not in the good, interested way.
I am here to tell you - it's another way to keep people distanced and disinterested. It's a way to keep people from accepting. Like my friend. She KNEW the very beginning of Christmas from its pagan roots.
I don't have all my thoughts formulated. I'm still working on this.
I watched Bart Millard of MercyMe get flamed by using the phrase "x-mas" on Twitter (TO SAVE SPACE!!) That is not a Christian reaction either.
Sometimes I think people are so interested in saving the religion that we forget there are people involved.
I remember getting upset with a friend a very long time ago about 'x-mas'. I remember that it was the start of a damper on our relationship. I wish I knew then what I know now. I wish I knew that friendship should be held tighter than the views over the name.
Certainly - Christmas is a celebration of Jesus' birthday. ... and if we take him out, we'll have returned the holiday to it's pagan roots - but, but, but, how hard would that be? I mean really? Christmas is ingrained in our culture.
How we, as believers, approach the holidays (Or ANYTHING else) will need to shine brighter than everything around them in this holiday. If we're grousing about this 'noise' - we're really not shining.
If we get out there, as we go about the business of life, with JOY in our hearts and the heart of Jesus in our actions think of the power we can show -- THAT will ring truer than religious tenets.
Religion is really only good for the religious - it's not so good for the unbeliever. (It wasn't good for me, either)
Jesus came so that we could have not just life after this one - but that we could have POWER.
THAT is what needs to be in evidence.
THAT is what will speak loudest over all the noise.
I plan to celebrate Christmas. I plan to worship a God who loved me so much He sent Jesus to earth to grow and learn as I did.
And hopefully, that will be a testimony that will speak louder than noise.